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This picture postcard was at the Mount Ayr Depot Museum when I joined many years ago. I have never run it before because I don’t know the location. I initially believed it was the bridge just south of the Mount Ayr Water Treatment Plant but the shadows are all wrong for that.
The back of the card contains some information about the sender and the postcard itself. The note stars out,”Dear Sister,” and is signed by Lila. Lila indicates she turned 22 years old the day before the note was written. The postmark tells us the card was mailed September 22, 1910 from Mount Ayr. The postal card was sent to Mrs. Frank Hudson in Hinsdale, Montana.
The publisher’s mark is much more interesting. It says, “M. H. Merrill Importer & Publisher, Mt. Ayr, Iowa – Made in Germany.” It was not uncommon for, especially lithographs, postcards to be printed in Germany.
M. H. Merrill is probably Martha H. Merrill who was the widow of Dr. John T. Merrill. Martha built a brick business building on East Madison Street and owned multiple millinery stores over several decades, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she got in on the picture postcard craze that ran here from about 1907 to 1915.
I received a scrapbook donated by Mary Lee Foltz, via Martha Landphair, which was put together by Mary Lee’s mother, Theola Weeda. The scrapbook contains all of the “Ringgold Remembers” articles included in the Mount Ayr Record-News in 1996. That was the year Iowa celebrated its sesquicentennial (150 years) and that is also the year that signs were placed in Ringgold County marking the Dragoon Trace. The Dragoon Trace was a trail used by military personnel to transport Indians to the Kansas Territory. The trail followed a natural ridge that many thought would be a railroad route someday but that never happened.
One of the articles addresses the beginning of 4-H Clubs. Jessie Field Shambaugh, of rural Page County, Iowa, is credited with being the mother of 4-H with her efforts in 1901. She also created the cloverleaf pin associated with the clubs. 4-H is still alive and well in Ringgold County today, thanks to the leadership volunteers.
1996 was also the year, “The Music Man,” was performed by the Moonlighter’s Community Theatre group at the Mount Ayr High School. I went to the play because my nephew, Sean Avitt, was in it. But, it turned out I really enjoyed the production. It was a large cast and all went well.
If I remember right, I spent much of 1996 working in Nebraska with Dave Chartrand. Where were you twenty-three years ago?